ATLANTA — While many BYU fans are frustrated with the Cougars' mediocre 4-4 record, coach Bronco Mendenhall apparently is insulated from critical views of his team.
"I don't hear many negative things. Most are complimentary toward how we're playing," he said when asked about any fan dissatisfaction. "There will always be critics. I gauge what I see, and I think there is progress. I think the program is moving forward. I think we're taking on an 'all-comers' type of approach. It's going to keep going that way."
The Cougars' schedules are getting tougher and tougher, Mendenhall added.
"When you see the 2013 schedule, you'll see it, and when you see the 2014 and 2015 (schedules) you'll see it. So it's not going the other way. I like the challenge. I like the places we're playing and who we're playing. We're one or two plays away. And that's the next step."
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said BYU is much better than a 4-4 team.
"I don't think the record indicates how good of a team they are," he said. "They've lost three games to ranked teams, two in the top 10. They're top 10 in just about every defensive category and they're always a big physical team, and this year is no exception."
MISSED TACKLES: The Cougar defense, which has been outstanding against the run most of this season, yielded 270 yards on the ground against Notre Dame last week. "They had quite a few yards after contact and they broke a lot of tackles," Mendenhall said of the Fighting Irish. "To our guys' credit, they were great in the (red) zone and they held the points down to where we had a great chance to win. I still thought they played well. They didn't tackle well and gave up a crucial first down on a third-and-5. But other than that, when you compare our game to anyone else they played, we had as good a chance as anybody."10 comments on this story
WHERE TO FIND THE GAME: The BYU-Georgia Tech game will be broadcast by ROOT Sports, which can be found on Comcast (Ch. 52/693), DirecTV (Ch. 684) and Dish Network (Ch. TBD).
For additional channel information, see Rootsports.com.
FAMILIAR TERRITORY: BYU strength and conditioning coach Jay Omer spent eight years at Georgia Tech before being hired by BYU in 2001. During his time in Atlanta, Omer served as the director of player development, responsible for overseeing the strength and conditioning program for Georgia Tech's 16-sport athletics program.